Middlebury opened up 2015 with a 2-1 win over St. Michael's (5-4-2) at the New Years College Hockey Classic. The Panthers (3-4-2) are hosting the event at the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, New York. Hobart defeated Southern Maine 6-2 in the opening game of the day. Middlebury returns to action on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. against Hobart, while S. Maine meets St. Michael's at 4:00 p.m.
Greg Conrad put the Panthers on the board 14:32 into the first period. Paul Falvey stole the puck from one of the Purple Knights just outside of the blue line and carried it into the Middlebury offensive zone. He dished to Conrad who buried his shot to give the Panthers a 1-0 advantage.
With 2:49 left in the second period, Ronald Fishman extended Middlebury's lead to 2-0 with a power play goal. He slid his shot from just outside the crease over the goal line in a flurry of action in front of the net. Jake Charles earned the assist.
St. Michael's had its best scoring chance of the period in the opening minute. Kevin Altidor's point blank shot from the right post was denied by Panther goalie Stephen Klein.
St. Michael's outshot Middlebury 14-8 in the final period. The Purple Knights pulled their goalie, Dave Donzanti, with 2:42 remaining. With 1:25 left in the game, Altidor broke through for St. Michael's, scoring off a rebound following a shot by AJ Pieprzak with the extra attacker. Stephen Inman also earned an assist on the play. Donzanti came in for a couple seconds after the goal, and quickly went back to the bench for the extra attacker for the Purple Knights, but St. Michael's was unable to find the game-tying goal.
The Purple Knights finished with a 34-33 edge in shots. St. Michael's was 0-2 on the power play, while Middlebury capitalized on its lone power play of the game. Klein played all 60 minutes between the pipes for the Panthers and made 33 saves. Donazanti finished with 31 saves for the Purple Knights.